Carrie Underwood is now the reigning CMA Awards Female Vocalist of the Year. The superstar, who last won in the category in 2008, found it especially meaningful to take home the trophy during the show's history 50th anniversary celebration, with so many artists from the past five decades participating in the live broadcast.

"Tonight's just been a hugely busy and crazy and wonderful night," Underwood shared with The Boot and other reporters after the show. "Being able to stand up on that stage in front of all those legends, clearly I was flabbergasted. It's just an amazing night."

Underwood also performed during the CMAs' broadcast, singing her current single "Dirty Laundry," from her 2015 album Storyteller, complete with a group of female background vocalists.

"We really just wanted to have a lot of women onstage," Underwood noted of the choice. "Gorgeous, talented, amazing women, because I feel like our country format could use some more, so let's bring them all onstage at once."

Underwood co-hosted the 2016 CMA Awards with her good friend Brad Paisley, for the ninth year in a row. Although she says that they didn't have a say in who participated in the show, Underwood was thrilled to see so many artists from the past five decades honored.

"It is the 50th, and we were expected to go all out," she explains. "I feel like we did, and we wanted to include as many legends as we could in one way or another ... Being able to acknowledge them in the audience, we wanted to elevate the show and have as many people there as possible."

The credit for country music's rise in popularity, especially in recent years, Underwood says, goes to the efforts to remove the boundaries of specific genres.

"There's so many different artists that are influenced by different people that are contributing to that," Underwood muses. "Meeting people all over the world along the way, I think having more people that don't even listen to country music tune in, that just shows how great the music is."

Underwood was nominated in three other categories at the 2016 CMA Awards, including for the night's highest honor, Entertainer of the Year, which went to Garth Brooks.

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